Shahriar Bakrani Balani not too long ago introduced a thesis, ‘Additive manufacturing of the high-performance thermoplastics: Experimental research and numerical simulation of the Fused Filament Fabrication,’ to Institut Nationwide Polytechnique de Toulouse. Delving additional into the science of supplies and 3D printing, Balani gives a complete definition of FFF 3D printing together with specializing in the significance of course of parameters and supplies.
Ranging from the start of 3D printing with Chuck Hull and the primary SLA printer, Balani offers a full historical past of the know-how—together with explaining the fundamentals of its evolution, and the way it works. Balani outlines the three completely different AM teams (liquid-based, solid-based, and powder-based) and all of the ensuing processes attainable.
“When this Ph.D. thesis began in 2015, not one of the machines was appropriate to print high-performance thermoplastics akin to PEEK (polyetheretherketone). Certainly, PEEK is a high-performance semicrystalline thermoplastic with a melting temperature above 340 °C and the next viscosity in comparison with different standard polymers that are usually utilized in FDM (FFF) course of,” defined Balani. “A excessive viscosity mixed with a excessive melting temperature will increase the difficulties to course of this type of materials. Due to these properties, using PEEK as uncooked materials for 3D printing is proscribed.”
“Nonetheless, in June 2015, INDMATEC launched the PEEK 3D Printer as the primary FDM 3D Printer for high-temperature polymers. This new 3D printer, which encompasses a construct quantity of 155 x 155 x 155 mm, is provided with a hotend that reaches as much as 420 °C. It could actually 3D print objects out of PEEK. The evolution of the FFF (FDM) printers from 1990 till now exhibits that their potential to print a broader vary of polymers with greater precision will increase whereas their value is lowered.”
Noting that there haven’t been many research concerning using high-performance polymers, Balani cites solely a number of earlier sources involved with printing orientation, temperatures concerning PEEK, and influences akin to tensile, flexural, and influence energy.
Completely different raster orientations had been examined, together with relation to mechanical properties. Different research centered on fundamentals like print pace, temperature, layer thickness—and finally, how environmental temperature influenced PEEK tensile energy. Different research have been associated to floor roughness and attainable floor remedies.
For PEEK, a number of research have been carried out concerning FFF, starting with medical use and experimentation with temperature and filament diameter—leaving the researchers to notice that nozzle and printing platform temperature had been essential to acceptable tensile energy. Different research examined the influence of thermal situations on mechanical properties, in addition to crystallization.
“The subsequent step is to print PEEK samples beneath managed surroundings at completely different temperatures and printing parameters to be mechanically examined. Moreover, the dedication of the temperature and the warmth area through the use of infrared thermography can be essential to validate the warmth switch predicted by our numerical mannequin,” concluded the researchers. “Hereby, we now have studied the mechanism of interdiffusion of the macromolecular chains and the comfort at temperature above the melting temperature.”
“Nonetheless, the interdiffusion begins under the melting temperature at gradual charge, so, figuring out the comfort instances at decrease temperature might assist to optimize the printing pace. Additionally, the affect of the printing situations on the welding (bonding) energy of some filaments is a step in direction of the advance of the bonding energy. For that, a particular mechanical take a look at can be developed to quantify the inter-filament adhesion. Lastly, when using the FFF course of can be mastered for high-performance thermoplastics, polymeric primarily based composites might be used as properly. Bio-sourced composites, lengthy carbon and glass fiber composites, and metallic/polymer blends supplies might be used as uncooked supplies to achieve new properties. For all these supplies, the FFF course of requires a wonderful management of the fabric properties throughout the deposition to make sure the highest quality of the 3D printed elements.”
PEEK has been used for a variety of functions, with quite a few research surrounding the fabric—from use with small medical implants to discs coated with antibacterial brokers, and using composites.
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[Source / Images: ‘Additive manufacturing of the high-performance thermoplastics: Experimental study and numerical simulation of the Fused Filament Fabrication’]
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